Diderot and Rousseau: Networks of Enlightenment

BookDiderot and Rousseau: Networks of Enlightenment

Diderot and Rousseau: Networks of Enlightenment

Marian Hobson

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2011:04


April 5th, 2011

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Marian Hobson’s work has made a seminal contribution to our understanding of the European Enlightenment, and of Diderot and Rousseau in particular. This book presents her most important articles in a single volume, translated into English for the first time.
Hobson’s distinctive approach is to take a given text or problématique and position it within its intellectual, historical and polemical context. From close analysis of the underlying conceptual structures of literary texts, she offers a unique insight into the vibrant networks of people and ideas at work throughout Europe, and across disciplinary boundaries as diverse as literature and mathematics, medicine and music.
In their translations of Hobson’s essays, Kate Tunstall and Caroline Warman present the primary sources in both the original eighteenth-century French and modern English, making the detail of these debates accessible to everyone, from the specialist to the student, whatever their academic discipline or interest.

…plus qu’une simple collection d’articles, le volume permet d’apprécier, pour ainsi dire "de haut", la cohérence de la carrière de Marian Hobson, et de prendre la mesure de la considérable contribution qu’elle laisse aux études diderotiennes.
- Recherches sur Diderot et l’Encyclopédie

This is an inspiring volume that has much to teach scholars of the Enlightenment hailing from a broad range of disciplines.
- H-France Review

Written in French, Hobson’s early articles from the 1970s played a major role in the new reading of key Enlightenment texts that emerged in the wake of post-structuralism and in particular the work of Jacques Derrida. It is a pleasure to read them again in Tunstall and Warman;s fine translations. They are as acute and relevant today as ever. […] I would argue that Hobson’s readings exemplify ‘deconstructive’ reading at its best: philosophically rigorous, historically precise, and attuned to the text in all its multifarious affiliations and subcurrents.
- French Studies

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Half Title2
Title Page4
Copyright Page5
List of illustrations8
Guide to the references10
1. From Diderot to Rousseau via Rameau (2005)28
I. The Paradoxe sur le comédien44
2. The Paradoxe sur le comédien is a paradox (1973)46
3. Sensibility and spectacle: the medical context for the Paradoxe (1977)78
II. Le Neveu de Rameau104
4. Pantomime, spasm and parataxis: Le Neveu de Rameau (1984)106
5. Deictics and dialectics in Le Neveu de Rameau (1992)128
6. Lists, parataxis and Le Neveu de Rameau (1995)140
III. Causality154
7. Jacques le fataliste: the art of the probable (1985)156
8. ‘Nexus effectivus’ and ‘nexus finalis’: causality in Rousseau’s Discours sur l’inégalité and the Essai sur l’originedes langues (1992) 178
IV. Aesthetics214
9. Philosophy and Rococo style (2002)216
10. Diderot’s Lettre sur les sourds et muets: language and labyrinth (1976)226
11. Kant, Rousseau and music (1980)274
V. Measurement294
12. Architecture, analogy and proportion (1991)296
13. How to take the measure of a character (2002)308
14. Measuring statues, or, special neutrality (2004)330